Chicago Auto Show Blog

What's in a Hybrid

Posted by: Jim OBrill

By definition, a hybrid is a thing made by combining two different elements. In automotive speak, it’s the combination of a gasoline engine and an electric motor, each of which can propel the vehicle. Honda has been making hybrids for more than 20 years with the first-generation Honda Insight arriving in 1999. Technology and styling have come a long way in 20 years. Gone are the funky looks of early hybrid models and in are stylish vehicles ranging from small sedans through SUVs. Honda now has a line-up of three hybrid models that include the Insight, Accord, Clarity, and CR-V. 
The Honda Insight is the lowest priced Honda hybrid starting at $22,930. The 2020 Insight is a huge transformation from the first model that debuted 20 years ago. The new Insight is a stylish sedan that takes cues from the recently re-designed Civic and Accord. The look is sleek, sporty and sophisticated. Up front, you’ll notice two sets of LED headlights that surround the Honda grille for a unique design at night. Proportions of this car are good with minimal overhang in both the front and back. The side profiles is flowing and the wheel designs fit the Insight well. In the back you’ll notice LED taillights with a sporty trunk lip and lower fascia. Under the hood is a smooth advanced hybrid powertrain that provides and engaging driving experience. With an EPA rating as high as 55 MPG on the LX & EX trims and 51 MPG on the Touring model, the Insight delivers on efficiency. The 1.5-liter Atkinson-cycle 4-cylinder engine with electric motor delivers 151 horsepower and feels sufficient for the size of the Insight. 
If you’re looking for something a little bigger than the Insight, then the 2020 Accord Hybrid may be what you’re looking for. Having first debuted in 2005 for only two years, the Accord Hybrid is back and completely re-designed for 2020. The new Accord’s aggressive style stands out in a sea of crossovers and breaks the mold for hybrid designs. With EPA ratings of 48 city/47 highway and a power system that generates 212 total horsepower, this car saves at the pump but remains fun to drive. The Accord Hybrid includes an EV mode in which the car can be operated exclusively on the hybrid battery and electric motor.  Add in standard Honda Sensing safety technology and a modern interior space all for a starting price of $25,620. If you’re looking to customize your Hybrid, the Accord comes with five additional 19-inch alloy wheel options, an illumination package and fashion exterior accent packages. 
Coming early this year will be the all-new CR-V Hybrid which is the first ever Honda crossover to wear the Hybrid badge. The new CR-V Hybrid will feature some small interior and exterior updates in addition to the new powertrain. The new drivetrain is similar to the Accord Hybrid using a naturally aspirated 2.0 liter inline-four gas engine and two electric motors. Horsepower is rated at 212 and EPA fuel-economy numbers have yet to be released. If Honda can get EPA numbers above the new RAV4 Hybrid’s 40 MPG, the CR-V Hybrid should be a sure winner. All-wheel drive is standard but does not include a low range.  Visually, the new CR-V Hybrid looks very similar to other CR-Vs, the primary differences include alternative Honda badging, updated fog lights, and a different rear bumper with a hidden exhaust pipe.
If you’re in the market for a Hybrid, visiting your local Chicagoland & Northwest Indiana Honda dealer is a must. With three mainstream options plus the 2020 Clarity Plug-in Hybrid there’s bound to be one that checks all the boxes for your needs. 
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